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Dr. I Ketut Warta, M.S.
Dean of Faculty of Arts, Department of English
Institute of Teacher Training and Science Education
(IKIP) Mataram, Jl. Pemuda 59A, Mataram West Nusa
Tenggara, Indonesia,

Purpose This study is an attempt to explore a way of nature preservation and protection and the relations
between Tri Hita Karana, local wisdom and natural resources. In addition, explanations why local wisdom is
related to sustainability of natural resources were sought by examining a number of intervening variables.

Design/methodology/approach A survey of 250 Hindu Balinese at two different settings, Bali (BL) and
Lombok (LB) was conducted. Questionnaires dealing with the concept of Tri Hita Karana: belief, tradition, rites
and festivals, and environment changes are distributed at two different settings to school children, the youth and
the old. The collected sense data are statistically (%) analyzed.

Findings Data analysis results that the practice and implementation of Tri Hita Karana are closely related to
the preservation and protection of the natural resources in these two different Islands. The data also reveal that
the involvement of the children, the youth and the old in practicing and implementing the local wisdom
especially, in Ogoh-ogoh parade indicate positive increase in number. Therefore, Tri Hita Karana seems to have
been practiced and effective way to keep the environment in harmony and balance.

Research limitations/implications The data reported stemmed from two different settings and method of
data analysis have been the limitation of the study.

Practical implications Results of this study support the notion Tri Hita Karana and the precept think globally
but, act locally proved true. Hopefully, these results would be of help for the local government to better
understand the concepts and develop a way for the preservation and protection of the natural resources.

Originality/values This is the first explorative study on Tri Hita Karana and natural resources in two different
settings. The study offers significant information to Hindu Balinese and local government at two different

Keywords Tri Hita Karana, tradition, environment change, rites and festival.

Paper type Research paper.

Tri Hita Karana has long been recognized and practiced (Mantra, 1993: 35) among the Balinese as a local
knowledge. This paper addresses several issues which are interrelated: the comprehensive review of the concept
Tri Hita Karana from the rather distant past, the past and the present, and the projected trends; which part of the
concepts have been adopted by us in preserving and protecting the environment, if any, and the reason for
adoption, the contribution of the concept which have been applied to the process of environment and water
management for the betterment of human life, successful or not and why? The last part of this paper looks
particularly at the impact of the implementation of modern science and technology on the quality of the life, and
whether advancement in science and technology can help preserve our environment.
The present world presents phenomena of different kinds; and these make most of us, if not all, worried.
Men are now impressed by material objects, power and the life of material wealth. We forget the good life to
live; morality, ethics and spirituality are no longer become the concerns of many of us. Crisis, in all aspects of
life, are now everywhere. The universe we live is not totally whole for human being. There are other living
beings take the place in this world. We never wonder, this world with its flowers, rivers, rocks, stars, sun, moon
all did not come about by chance, said Bhagawadgita, the Devine Songs of Hindus. All these things we see
around us, and all that we know of, must have become what it is today by some process, by design as it is
mentioned in the Bhagawadgita (1987: 23). If we could understand this process, we would understand the
nature of the universe, not necessarily sacrificing our own culture including the universe we live. It is cited in
The Bhagawadgita, a book of scripture, that this Universe with all its contents was created; and the creation was
love-based (2003: 358-70). Further it is cited that this creation is to be well preserved and protected from
destruction. This is named Tri Sakti, the three Powers, that is Creator, Protector and Destroyer. Understanding,
respect, tolerance and love are ways towards the protection and preservation of this universe. The universe in a
small scale, a family house, is a house where we live.
Bali is a small island; it is only 5,632.86 km2 (2,174.86 sq mi) in area and 3,891,428 populations. Of these
populations, 89 % are Balinese and the others are Javanese (7%), Baliaga (1%) and Madurese (1%). The great
majority of the populations are Hindu (92. 29%) by religion. Other religions are Muslim (5.69%), Christian
(1.38%) and Buddhist (0.64%). The diversity in belief and ethnicity does not make Bali value free; they are all,
in their daily life, governed by their own principles of belief. Respect, awareness, tolerance and understanding
are, as they ensure, key to happiness. They believe that the good life to live is one inspired by love and guided
by knowledge, the knowledge of the local wisdom. Bali has long been recognized as one of the most peaceful
and interesting regions in the world over. As part of Indonesia, Bali is more popular and well-known than the
republic of Indonesia; it is not surprising that if one frequently asked, which part of Bali is Indonesia? Surely
this question implies that Bali, at least from the view of stranger, has attracted the attention of many people
from all over the world. This is all due to the uniqueness of Bali. Bali offers a lot of things, their lives, religion,
status and natural beauty, which are all unique in nature. For all of these, Bali is attributed, to many predicates

such as the Island of Gods, the Island of thousand temples, the Island of Paradise, and the Island of many artists.
Tri Hita Karana is one of those many unique concepts that is still and will be practiced in the Island.
House Construction according to the concept Tri Hita Karana is the reflection of mini-universe. The houses
of the Balinese people are constructed in accordance to the Tri Hita Karana concept. Such orientation is based
on the guidelines that the north-east angle is the sacred point and thus reserved as the place for the house temple
or sometimes, family shrines, or Sanggah as it is called by the Balinese. In contrary, the west-south angle is the
side of the lowest value in house construction setting, is the side for the house entrance. A wall called Aling-
Aling is built at the entrance door, Angkul-Angkul, it does the function as a block for the inside, and also it is
used as a way to drive away devil spirits. In this part of the compound it is also built the Jineng, paddy
warehouse and the kitchen, Paon. Then the following structures are found Bale Tiang Sanga, Bale
Sikepat/Semanggen and Umah Meten. The three structures, Bale Tiang Sanga, Bale Sikepat and Bale Sekenam,
are open structure. Court yard, Natah, is built at the center part of the house. The bedroom, Umah Meten, is the
one for the head of family, or the daughter. Umah Meten is the structure with four walls as it aimed to have
higher security than other rooms, the places for important and valuable goods. This kind of typical Balinese
house, (see appendix 03), usually comes with a border in the form of fences around the construction.
The Concept of Tri Hita Karana is rooted from the Hindu concept; it is a religious concept. Nowadays it
becomes the point of the hotel, restaurant and other building assessment in the world. The Balinese Traditional
Architecture is not only monumental, but also a reflection of both philosophical and religious teachings. At least
the teaching of how dwelling place, a family house should be constructed; and the understanding of how this
universe, mini-universe is divided into three parts. The cosmogony is, according to the concept of Hindu,
oneness of three worlds, Tri Bhuana, which is called Bhuhloka, Bhwahloka, and Swahloka. Each of this world,
Loka, has its habitants by itself. Tri Hita Karana is also concerned with the concept of life. In addition of this
three concepts, cosmogony is also contextually related to religious concept. Tri Hita Karana simply means
three causes of happiness. Tri three, Hita happiness and Karana is causes. It is a Sanskrit linguistic unit,
meaning to keep harmonious and balanced relationship between human to Almighty, human-to-human and
human to environment. Implicit in this concept is that this nature should be preserved and protected from
These three concepts is most popular in Bali. The concept comprising three parts: that is Parhyangan,
Pawongan and Pelemahan, respectively. Parhyangan is one of the three concept related to the god. On this
stage, the human is demanded to keep the harmony and balance with god. This concept has huge meaning
where the Balinese are discipline and feel confident to do this. It is not only to do the praying at the temple, but

also perform all activities related to good thing to live, such as building the temple, cleaning the temple, keeping
the religion symbols and keeping the environment healthy.
Pawongan in this concept is required to keep the harmony and balance relationship between human to
human and human to environment. This concept has emphasized how to keep good relation with others. The
simple ways to execute the implementation of this concept are to conduct three good things: to think, to speak
and to conduct the good things. By conducting three good things, to think, speak, and act aright, that is called
Tri Kaya Parisuda, we are ensured to have carried out the Tri Kaya Parisuda. This is true because to be is to
become (Alder, 1983: 36). If we are thinking and feeling aright, good speech and action will automatically
follow. Palemahan, a Balinese, comes from lemah, meaning the land or environment. Generally the Pelemahan
in Tri Hita Karana is all aspects related to the environment. Base on this concept the Balinese has treated the
environment well beings; and they believe that the good environment will give a better life to live. An instance
that the Balinese have practiced and implemented the Tri Hita Karana is that on the Tumpek Uduh, Tree day,
based on the Balinese calendar. It is a celebration day for plantation and tree. The Balinese on this special day
provide special offering to the tree. The purpose is that the tree has and will give them prosperity. And a day of
silence, a 24 hours doing nothing, named Nyepi, is carried out once a year. It is one of the most important days
in Bali religious belief. This day of silence is celebrated on the basis of four principles of guidance, Catur Brata
Penyepian. The first is prohibition of lightening fire, the use of lightening for the satisfaction of pleas arable
human appetites, known as Amati Geni; secondly, prohibition of all forms of physical works other than those of
dedicated to spiritual cleansing and renewal, Amati Karya; thirdly, prohibition of movement or travelling,
Amati Lelungan; and lastly, prohibition of all forms of entertainments, recreations or general merrymaking,
Amati Lelangunan. As a consequence, all streets are empty and closed; and all business is off. The day is
marked by stillness and quietness.

These are all intended to keep the environment harmonious and balanced. There is no activity during the day
of silence. All streets are free from pollution as indicated below (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Figure 2

According to some resources, Nyepi is annual purification day of the Hindu-Balinese New Year, usually
celebrated at the beginning of the tenth Balinese month or at the end of March or at the beginning of April. In
the evening peoples leave their houses carrying Ogoh-Ogoh, a big puppet represents an evil. Everybody make
noise as much as possible to frighten the evil; the idea is to drive away the bad spirit as far as possible from the
Island. On the actual day of Nyepi, as indicated by the word Nyepi, Silent Day, all peoples in Bali stay at
their homes. Nobody is out door; there is no traffic on that day; and no noise may be heard outside the house;
and no light may be seen. Quiet, dark, no activities and silence characterize the Day.
There is a strong link between scientific propositions (Figure 2) and Tri Hita Karana, the concept of
Balinese house structure. The process of knowing begins with Belief; it is Parhyangan, the place of worship;
Knowledge, the result of the knowing process, is Pawongan, the dwelling place for human; man has or acquires
knowledge (Dawkins, 2007: 17; Diamond, 1974: 33). While Truth, the end of knowledge, is Pelemahan, the
place for other creatures. Science and technology if cooperated with Tri Hita Karana in their practice and
implementation may bring happiness to the greater number of beings and keep the environment harmonious and
balanced. We should change our belief and view of the universe. The answer to environment change, is change.
The attitude of being flexible and sensitive, the ability to perceive the old problems in a new ways are, then,
becoming a must. Everyone should be willing and ready to change.
The possession of knowledge by man and the application of knowledge in this life, if not well-controlled,
might endanger not only human resources development, but the environment is of no exception. The following
few lines cited below clearly illustrate how dangerous mans knowledge is.
If all the good people were clever
And those that are clever were good,
This world would be nicer than ever.
But it seems as though seldom if ever
Do the two hit off as they should
The good are so harsh to the clever
The clever are so rude to the good
The cultivation of human resources, as it is implied in the cited lines, at least, as I understand it, should be in
cooperation between intellectually and morally good. Put it another way, the implementation of knowledge
should be directed toward the happiness of human beings and morally based. Otherwise, it may endanger the
nature and man place in it. This is true as Bacon claims that knowledge is power (Anderson, 1948). Science and
technology, from the stand point of economics, may bring better life, but material objects as such do not make
people happy (Patterson, 1970: 27). Enjoyment, pleasure, fame and status and the like are transient and they are
not able to permanently satisfy the human spirit. Happiness, however, can be obtained only by seeking that
which is permanent and not subject to change. The concept of Tri Hita Karana is the concept of happiness.
The successful practice and implementation of the Tri Hita Karana concept in Bali are made possible by the
active involvement of the women. Women play very important role in preserving and protecting the
environment. Balinese people are very devoted Hindu; their religious lives have been part of their daily activity.
There is a strong link between religious belief and life and the social status of women in Bali. It is taken for
granted that men and women are two different individuals. Women, as most Balinese believed them and are still
practiced among the Balinese society, are considered inferior than those from men in terms of intellectual
capacity, leadership and management. For most Balinese, women most important duty is to do house work.
Such perception on women has made women the second being in every family house. This position of women
in Bali affect their everyday lives; their lives are colored by religious activity; most women, if not all, spend
their lives from early in the morning up to late afternoon even night, working at home. From cooking and
preparing food for the family, taking care for the children have become their routine and their primary and most
crucial daily duty to perform.
In religious activity the role they play is great, if not the greatest; their involvement in all aspects religious
ceremony, (see appendix 05 and 11), has been the determinant factors for the success of every Hindu religious
rites and festivals including the implementation and practice of Tri Hita Karana. It seems that their lives is
nothing, but religious. The belief that the Balinese women are characterized by their being religious is proved to
be true. It is true that there is no life without religious activity in Bali (Pudja, 2003: 51). Rites and festivals are
part of their lives. The fact that one can see and watch, in every corner of the Island, women in Bali preparing
offering every day, right after the cooking hour is over. No one is allowed to have lunch before this little
offering, made of rice, salt, and red union, dedicated to the evil is carried out. The idea behind all these

activities is the sustainability of the fresh and healthy environment. Inclusive in this idea is the balanced and
harmonious relationship.


This study is a survey of 250 Hindu Balinese who live in two different Islands, Bali (BL) and Lombok (LB).
The characteristics of these 250 samples are somewhat similar; they are all devoted Hindu, and they have the
same religious experience, cultural background and similar tradition. Information dealing with opinion,
perception, experience, and participation of the local people about the implementation and practice of TRI
HITA KARANA is collected by means of questionnaire. Through the process of identifying, classifying and
analysis of the questionnaire the collected empirical data are statistically (%) analyzed.


Through the process of identifying, classifying and analysis of the questionnaire the data are presented in
the tables that follow.

Q 06-12/N=50 13-19/N=65 20-25/N=50 25-35/N=50 35-45/N=35 Average

N:% N:% N:% N:% N:% (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 D/46:92 D/35:54 D/40:80 D/45:90 D/25:71 77
2 B/40:80 B/45:69 B/35:70 B/40:80 B/30:86 77
3 A/45:90 B/40:61 B/38:76 B/45:90 B/30:86 81
4 B/42:84 B/55:85 B/36:72 B/40:80 B/34:97 84
5 C/48:96 C/60:92 C/45:90 C/39:78 C/32:91 89
6 C/48:96 C/62:95 C/40:80 C/42:84 C/29:83 88
7 A/48:96 A/58:89 A/38:76 A/48:96 A/31:89 89
8 D/48:96 D/60:92 D/37:74 D/48:96 D/32:91 89
9 D/45:90 D/58:89 D/45:90 D/37:74 D/30:86 86
10 D/46:92 D/60:92 D/47:94 D/46:92 D/28:80 90
11 A/40:80 D/55:85 D/32:64 D/43:86 D/33:94 82
12 D/47:94 D/62:95 D/42:84 D/41:82 D/29:83 88
Notes: 1 = Question; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 = Age-based Participants; N = Total of Participants, and average
number of participation.


Results of the survey reveal that school children age (06-12) years, in terms of quantity, 46 (92%) out of 50
is better than others. Their involvement in the practice and implementation of Tri Hita Karana especially, in the
Ogoh-ogoh parade, suggests that the activities attract them to join the procession (Frost, 1953: 23). This high
participation of the school children, regardless to whether they understand or not the concept of Tri Hita Karana
is of meaningful points for us. Because to say that they are interested in the parade is the same thing as to say
that they are actively participating in the activities (Pudja, 2003: 73). This is true as Woods (1972: 16-17);
Diamond (1974: 10-12) and Anderson (1946: 217) claim that a statement is true if there are some possible sense
experience; put it another way, all knowledge is rooted in sense experience. In Alders words (1983), synthetic
statement, all statements that are back up by some empirical evidences are considered true (Dawkins, 2007: 48).
The second active and high percentage participation come from the Youth 45 (90%) out of 50; only 5 (10%) of
the samples do not take part in the parade. This is not to say, however, that they are not involved at all. Their
involvement is in the preparation. The third is that from the group aged 20-25 (80%) followed by the Old aged
35-45 (71%) and the group of aged 13-19 (54%). On average, the rate of local people participation is 71.40%.
The next important points we can say is that the participants of the parade are dominated by men that is 71%;
Hindu by religion (89.40%); and it was successful (88%). They all enjoyed (89.20%) the event; Tri Hita Karana
is believed to keep the environment harmonious and balanced (90%); because it very importance (86%); joint
the event every year (90%); they followed this tradition as an heritage (89%) and finally, Tri Hita Karana has
been implemented and practiced successfully and can help preserve and protect the environment from being
destruction (88%).


I have, in this survey, presented why the environment should be preserved and protected from destruction; I
have also presented how this environment should be preserved and protected. Tri Hita Karana, the Hindus
Balinese most sacred precept, which has been and shall be practiced in Bali and Lombok has been successfully
implemented in all aspects of life. They reason that Tri Hita Karana with all its dimensions Silent Day, Tumpek
Uduh, Ogoh-ogoh Parade and other religious activities, and housing construction are closely linked to the
preservation and protection of the environment. Academically, the concepts Tri Hita Karana and scientific
proposition are related. As a native of Bali, who was born and grown up in Bali, I would kindly invite all of us
to start practicing the concept Tri Hita Karana. My suggestion is that we should begin from the simple one, that

is, stop driving cars just for one day; start walking for a short distance; stay at home and turn off your electricity
power just for one night only. We may think globally but, we should act locally. Hopefully, by so doing we
shall be free from pollution and live a healthy life.


Anderson, F.H. (1948), The Philosophy of Francis Bacon. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.
Alder, V. S. (1983), The Fifth Dimension, The Future of Mankind. Great Britain, Rider & Company.
Anonymous, (1987),The Bhagavadgita, The Song Divine. Gorakhpur, Gita Press.
Balinese Concept Tri Hita Karana. (Online) (www., 11 April 2012.
Dawkins, R. (2007), The God Delusion. Great Britain, Black Swan
Diamond, M.L. (1974), Contemporary Philosophy and Religious Thought: An Introduction to the Philosophy of
Religion, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Enlightening Indonesia, (2010). (Online),, 11 April 2012.
Frost, S. E. (1953), Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers. New York, Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Mantra, I. B. (1993), The Ethics of Hindu Dharma. Jakarta, Hanuman Cakti
Patterson, C. H. (1970), Western Philosophy. New York, Cliffs Notes, Inc.
Pudja, G. (2003). Bhagawadgita, Indonesian Translation. Surabaya, Paramita.
Tri Hita Karana/Stiti Dharma. (2011), (Online), www., 11 April 2012.
Woods, R.G. (1972), Philosophy of Education, London, University of London Press Ltd.


1.Qeustionnaire (English)
The questionnaire seeks to explore information about perception, experience, opinion, and participation of the
local people about the implementation and practice of TRI HITA KARANA in BL and LB. I would be grateful
for any information you can give on all of these aspects of this survey. Please answer briefly or circle
appropriate options.

Questions Your answer

1. How long have you been living in Bali/Lombok? A.2 years
B.5 years
C.10 years
D.More than 15 years

2. What is your sex? A.Female


3. What is your age? A.06-12

E.35- 45
A.There are 3
4. How big is your family? B.There are 4
C.There are 5
D.More than five

5. What is your belief? Are they all interested and A.We go to Church
participated in the parade of Ogoh-ogoh? B.We go to Mosque
C.We go to Temple
D.Other (Specify)
Kindly add comments

6 How would you describe the implementation and A.Very great and interesting
practice of Tri Hita Karana and Silent Day in B.Very interesting,
your regency? C.Very successful
Kindly add comments on your evaluation on this.

7. How do you like the activity? Please add A.Very much (why)
comments to your assessment B.No Idea (why)

8. Tri Hita Karana is of great significance for the A.Totally untrue

preservation and protection of the environment B.Relatively true
balanced and harmonious. C.Relatively untrue
D.Completely true
Kindly add comments if you wish.

9. How significance is the concept Tri Hita Karana A. No significance

for the preservation and protection of the B. Minor significance
environment? C. Some significance
D. Major significance
Please add comments if you wish

10. How often have you participated in the parade of A. Never participated
Ogoh-ogoh? B. Rarely participated
C. Sometimes participated
D. Participated most of the time

11. How do come to know the parade of Ogoh-ogoh? A. Our family

B. Parents
C. Brothers
D. A,B,C

12. The implementation and practice of Tri Hita A.Totally disagree

Karana can help preserve and protect the B.Partly disagree
environment C.Partly agree
D.Fully agree
2.Questionnaire (Indonesian)

Pertanyaa Jawaban
1. Berapa lama Anda tinggal di Bali/Lombok? A.2 tahun
B.5 tahun
C.10 tahun
D.Lebih dari 15 tahun

2. Jenis kelamin A.Perempuan


3. Berapa usia Anda saat ini? A.06-12

E.35- 45

4. Berapa anggota keluarga Anda semuanya? A. 3orang

B. 4orang
C. 5orang
D.Lebih dari 5 orang

5. Apakah Anda pemeluk agama Kristen, Islam, A.Kristen

Hindu, atau agama lain (Mohon sebutkan); B.Islam
apakah semua keluarga ikut terlibat dalam pawai C.Hindu
Ogoh-ogoh? D.Lainnya (sebutkan)

Mohon komentar tambahan

6 Bagaimana pelaksanaan Tri Hita Karana dan A.Sangat luarbiasa dan menarik
perayaan Hari Raya Nyepi di daerah Anda? B.Sangat menarik
C.Sangat berhasil
D.Sangat atraktif
Mohon komentar tambahan mengenai hal ini

7. Apakah Anda menyukai atraksi ini? A.Sangat suka (kenapa)

B.Tidak tahu (kenapa)
Mohon jelaskan lebih lanjut

8. Tri Hita Karana dan pawai Ogoh-ogoh sangat A.Sepenuhnya tidak benar
penting dalam rangka pelestarian lingkungan B.Relatif benar
C.Relatif tidak benar
D.Sepenuhnya benar
Jika pelu, mohon jelaskan lebih lanjut
9. Menurut Anda, seberapa penting Tri Hita Karana A. Tidak penting
dalam konteks pelestarian lingukungan B. Kurang penting
C. Cukuppenting
D. Sangat penting
Mohon penjelasan lebih jauh

10. Seberapa sering Anda mengikuti pawai Ogoh- A. Tidak pernah ikut
ogoh? B. Jarang ikut
C. Kadang-kadang ikut
D. Selalu ikut

11. Darimana Anda tahu adanya pawai ini? A. Dari keluarga

B. Dari Orangtua
C. Dari Saudara
D. A,B,C

12. Melalui Tri Hita Karana beserta pawai Ogoh- A.Sangat tidak setuju
ogoh serta Hari raya Nyepi dapat membantu B.Sebagian tidak setuju
pelestarian lingkungan C.Sebagian setuju
D.Sangat setuju

The Pictures that follow are the implementation and practice of the concept Tri Hita Karana, the Local Wisdom.

Appendix 03 Sample of Balinese Family House

Constructed under the Concept of Tri Hita

Appendix 04 Mother Temple of Besakih,

Parahyanagan, Place of Worshipping in a Lager

Appendix 05 Implementation of Tri Hita
Karana in Terms of Human Relation to the
Creator, Almighty god.

Appendix 06 Implementation of Tri Hita
Karana in an Attempt to Preserve and Protect
the Environment through Nyepi, Silent Day
(Top) and Praying together by the Beach side to
Baruna, Sea God (Bottom).

Appendix 07 Ogoh-Ogoh, Demon-like Statue
Parade, Carried out One Day before Nyepi, is
the Implementation of Tri Hita Karana to show
that Human should not have the Attributes of
such Kind (Picture by I Ketut Warta).

Appendix 08 Wedding Ceremony, the
Relationship between Human to Human
(Picture by I Ketut Warta).

Appendix 09 Map of Lombok (Top) and Map
of Bali Island (Bottom) Locations of the Survey

Appendix 10 Rice Terrace (Top) where the
Hindu worship Dewi Sri, Goddess of Rice, and
Jineng, House for Storage Rice (Bottom), is
another form of the Implementation of Tri Hita

Appendix 11 Religious activities mostly, if
not all, done and prepared by women (Top,
the praying was going on) and (Bottom, the
preparation was carried out, all by women);
picture by I Ketut Warta. Women play very
important role in implementing and
practicing Tri Hita Karana.